10:11AM, Friday 11 January 2013
A petition has been launched after tenants at homes in Coln Close and Windrush Way in Maidenhead were left stunned by a new service charge.
Housing Solutions is set to introduce a new fee which will cover basic maintenance of communal areas, including gardening work, internal cleaning, fire safety and electricity charges for communal lighting.
The charge, which amounts to £368.23 per year for households on the estate, is set to be introduced in April and has angered residents, many of whom are pensioners.
A petition against the proposal was presented to Housing Solutions last week, with 53 out of 67 households saying they were against the charges, with only two supporting their introduction.
Michael Bond, who lives on Windrush Way and launched the petition, said: "It makes me feel quite angry to be honest with you.
"It's all been done before and we didn't have to pay for anything."
Many residents have said they would happily pitch in to clean and maintain the communal areas themselves rather than pay the charges.
A spokeswoman for Housing Solutions said the company's aim was to make sure all its rent and service charges are fair and transparent and consultation on the proposed changes was taking place.
She added: "We welcome discussion with groups of residents who want to take on responsibility for maintaining communal areas.
"We will be talking to the residents of Coln Close and Windrush Way about their proposals."
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